Langdon Locker, 324 6th St., Langdon, Cavalier County, North Dakota, on the morning of February 27, 2014.
This morning just after the sunrise, the car thermometer registered something like -18° F in Langdon, northeastern North Dakota. I’m on detail up here for a couple days, dissertating (a verb in grad school) and so on. But before getting started on that, I decided to track down the famous Langdon Locker, home of the famous Langdon Locker Sausage (caps is warranted).
This, says Tom Isern, is the greatest sausage in all of North Dakota. I once pressed Isern to explain why it was the best, and he (paraphrased) chalked it up to preparation and texture. I think the texture reminded him a bit of sausage production around and near his historic family farm in western Kansas. It is no surprise that certain smells and foods activate otherwise hibernating memory files within our brains.
In any case, I tracked down the Langdon Locker. Then I tracked down an ATM. Then I returned to Langdon Locker and purchased one of their regular staples, the smoked garlic pork sausage. It is locally made, and goes for just over $4 for one-and-a-half pounds. There are rumors that this sausage is available through distributors in Fargo. But there is something fun about getting the stuff at the source too.
I just read a short blog entry by Tom Isern, a friend, colleague and adviser here at North Dakota State University. Speaking about rising early in the morning, he noted on his productive writing output before sunrise, and then he said that early afternoon napping will undermine his zeal for a heroically productive day. Napping, Tom added, “is not a bad thing, either.” This is correct.
A couple summers ago, before my late Grandma Barth passed away, we sat in the living room chatting one weekend afternoon. I told her I was going to go take a quick nap, and she fired back right away and said, “Good: everyone should take a nap in the afternoon.” My grandma lived to 96 years of age. And this is true about naps. If we treat ourselves decently, we’re likely going to treat those around us decently. Naps are decent things to expect of yourself and others.
Tom Isern and I (among others) are taking an introduction to the Dakota language with Dakota elder Dr. Clifford Canku (pronounced “Chanku,” with emphasis on the first syllable; the word Canku means “the way” or “the road” in Dakota). I thought I’d snap a panoramic photo of what class room looks like, at least from my seat.
More on this all in future posts. As an aside, folks can go on-line and hear Canku learn Dakota at this website here. Okay. Tokesta ake (“See you later.”).
The Bismarck Tribune’s graphic of the proposed route through what essentially is the Gettysburg of the Northern Great Plains, the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield from 1864. Historical actors involved included Sitting Bull, Inkpaduta, Gall, Sully, among others.
This morning a story broke in The Bismarck Tribune on a proposed transmission line route directly through the core area of the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield. North Dakota State University’s Center for Heritage Renewal, led by Professor Tom Isern, responded with the following media release:
Aug. 30, 2013
The Center for Heritage Renewal at North Dakota State University is preparing a submission for the North Dakota Public Service Commission hearing in Killdeer on Sept. 4. The subject is an electrical power transmission line and substation proposed to be built, by Basin Electric, in the core area of the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield. The topic has been covered by North Dakota media, starting yesterday.
The Center for Heritage Renewal was established to identify, preserve and capitalize on the heritage resources of North Dakota and the northern plains. One of the center’s objectives is to assist state agencies, private organizations and the people of the state and region in generating prosperity and quality of life from heritage resources. Another objective is to provide expertise and action in the fields of historic preservation and heritage tourism.
The center recognizes the efforts of Basin Electric to support regional development but is concerned that the environmental impact statement for the project takes no cognizance of the historical significance of Killdeer Mountain.
The center has signed a contract with the National Park Service to survey and study the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield, which the park service has identified as a significant Civil War-era site in North Dakota. The contract is with the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service.
Killdeer Mountain was the chosen ground on which Dakota and Lakota fighters, including Inkpaduta and Sitting Bull, confronted the Northwest Expedition, commanded by General Alfred Sully, on July 28, 1864. This was the largest military engagement ever to take place on the Great Plains of North America, and a crucial episode in the Dakota War of 1862-1864.
University Distinguished Professor Tom Isern, founding director of the center, observes, “Killdeer Mountain is the Gettysburg of the Plains. It is, arguably, the most significant historic site in all of North Dakota.”
Isern is available to discuss this issue. He can be reached at 701-799-2942
More to come…